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2Ch 25:1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem-
Amaziah's father Joash died at 47, so Joash would have been 22 when Amaziah was born. His mother, 'pleasing to Jehovah', was one of the wives chosen for Joash by his Godly uncle Jehoiada. He would have lived under the Godly influence of Jehoiada for some time, and witnessed his father's apostacy and gross ingratitude to Jehoiada shown by murdering his sons.

2Ch 25:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, but not with a complete heart-
There is a common phrase in the record of the Kings of Judah which I admit to being unable to conclusively interpret: "He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord". Many of the men of whom this was said were not very righteous, and some were punished for their later apostasy. Possible explanations are that they repented at the end, although unrecorded; or that they were initially righteous; or that God counted them as righteous although they did wrong things. I find problems with each of these alternatives. So I am left with the possibility that a man can do (and perhaps this is the word that needs emphasis) what is right in God's eyes, but still ultimately be condemned because his heart is far from God; which is the teaching of 1 Cor. 13; Mk. 7:6-9 and many other Scriptures. Amaziah "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like (i.e. he didn't do his works like) David his father" (2 Kings 14:3) must be paralleled with 2 Chron. 25:2: "he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart". Working for God as David did, therefore involved doing the works with a perfect heart, the open conscience which David so often displayed in the Psalms. But Amaziah was deceived by the fact he was doing good works, and the real essence of his relationship with God was thereby overlooked. And we too can project a shadow-self to others, an image of spirituality, which eventually we come to believe ourselves; when our heart is far from God. This feature of human nature explains why a man or woman can reach such heights of devotion and then turn round and walk away from it all, out into the darkness of the world.

2Ch 25:3 Now it happened that when the kingdom was established to him, he killed his servants who had killed the king his father-
This continues a theme, of the kings of Judah strengthening or establishing themselves, often when they first became king; but then having that human strength tested by God or removed. The same word is used repeatedly (1 Chron. 11:10; 2 Chron. 11:11,17; 12:13; 13:21; 17:1; 23:1; 25:3,11; 26:8,15; 29:3; 32:5). The lesson of course was that it is God's Angelic eyes who run to and fro in the land promised to Abraham, "to shew Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward him" (2 Chron. 16:9).

2Ch 25:4 But he didn’t put their children to death, but did according to that which is written in the law in the book of Moses, as Yahweh commanded saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin-
Overall this man appears to have spiritually failed. But he as it were grabs hold of one commandment and religiously obeys it. We see this kind of thing all the time in 'religious' approaches to Christianity. But it is the heart which God is looking at, and it was in this that Amaziah failed, ultimately. Chronicles was written for the exiles, and perhaps they needed reminding of this principle (as in Ez. 18:20) because of their wrong idea that they were being unjustly punished for the sins of their fathers.

2Ch 25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and ordered them according to their fathers houses, under captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, even all Judah and Benjamin. He numbered them from twenty years old and upward, and found them three hundred thousand chosen men, able to go forth to war, who could handle spear and shield-
After the humiliating defeat by a small army of Syrians, which led to his father's sickness and death, Amaziah wished to strengthen the military might of Judah. But he rather misses the point; his father had more soldiers than Syria, but a small Syrian army defeated Judah's military might because they were not devoted to Yahweh (2 Chron. 24:24). He failed to appreciate that an Israel obedient to the covenant would win victories against far superior forces. His strength numerically was that in Asa's time (2 Chron. 14:8).  

2Ch 25:6 He hired also one hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver-
"Thousand" often means a kind of military division, and not literally 1000. He failed to recognize that faith in Yahweh rather than numbers was significant (see on :5). He failed to learn the lessons of Biblical history, that military cooperation with the ten tribes had never brought anything but disaster.

2Ch 25:7 A man of God came to him, saying, O king, don’t let the army of Israel go with you; for Yahweh is not with Israel, with all the children of Ephraim-
The implication was that Yahweh was "with" Judah, but would be with them if Israelite forces were with them. Yet this being "with" Judah was by grace alone, for all the evidence is that the mass of the people were not at all with Him but had forsaken Him. But God perhaps wished to give them just this simple test of obedience regarding not taking the Israelite forces with them, without tackling the myriad other spiritual issues they had. We marvel that He did not turn away from them, seeing they had forsaken Him, but instead worked so patiently to reform them, one baby step at a time. See on :11. 

2Ch 25:8 But if you will go, go and take action, be strong for the battle. God will overthrow you before the enemy; for God has power to help, and to overthrow-
There are times when God has influenced men not to respond to the evidently wise words of other men, in order to fulfill His purpose (e.g. 1 Kings 12:15; 2 Chron. 25:20). God was willing to confirm and even encourage Amaziah in a wrong way- if this was Amaziah’s choice. Therefore God has the power to influence the minds of men in this way, and He uses it. "He takes away the heart of the chief of the people, and causes them to wander" (Job 12:24 cp. 42:7). And God uses this ability to make men refuse to respond to the evident Truth of His word (e.g. 1 Sam. 2:25). Yet in all this, God is only confirming men in the path they choose to tread.

2Ch 25:9 Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? The man of God answered, Yahweh is able to give you much more than this-
I suggest on :17 that this test was repeated when these mercenaries sacked some cities of Judah, and Amaziah then demands compensation from Israel for this. This abiding desire for compensation reflects his lack of faith in the prophetic words to him. We may apparently respond rightly to a test, but not from the heart. And so it is repeated, and we fail. The situation also repeated at the time of 2 Chron. 28:13,14, where the victorious Israelites were told to release the captives they had apparently legitimately taken in war.

2Ch 25:10 Then Amaziah separated them, the army that had come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again. Therefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in fierce anger-
This was on one  hand great obedience to the prophetic word. And yet their anger may reflect the fact that Amaziah actually demanded the payment be returned. For that would explain why they pillaged Judah in revenge (:13). His obedience was therefore partial, and so he was tested again in this matter (see on :17) and failed.

2Ch 25:11 Amaziah took courage, and led forth his people, and went to the Valley of Salt, and struck ten thousand of the children of Seir-
This was where David had won a great victory (1 Chron. 18:12). Amaziah was being guided to follow in David's footsteps. This, as noted on :7, was another baby step taken to try to reform him. 

2Ch 25:12 The children of Judah carried away ten thousand alive, and brought them to the top of the rock, and threw them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were broken in pieces-
Comparing with the Kings record, we learn that these people were from the fortress garrison of Sela, which Amaziah captured after the victory of :11. Sela may well be Petra, the apparently impregnable rock top of Jer. 49:16.

2Ch 25:13 But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah, from Samaria even to Beth Horon, and struck of them three thousand, and took much spoil-
Samaria and Beth Horon may instead be read as the border cities of Zemaraim (2 Chron. 13:4; Josh. 18:22) or Ephrain / Ephron (2 Chron. 13:19 cp. Josh. 15:9). I suggested on :10 that they did this because perhaps Amaziah didn't in fact pay them or demanded his payment be returned.

2Ch 25:14 Now it happened, after that Amaziah had come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense to them-
The imperfect tense suggests he continued this bowing down to them. This is a common Biblical theme; that men worship the very gods which have been proven powerless, and which God has demonstrated to them to be so, through observed experience. But we have the same human nature. For example, we all learn by observed experience that wealth doesn't bring happiness, and we lament families ruined by the possession of wealth. But many still eagerly worship the idol of wealth.

2Ch 25:15 Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Amaziah, and He sent to him a prophet who said to him, Why have you sought after the gods of the people, which have not delivered their own people out of your hand?-
GNB "from your power". "Amaziah" means 'power of Yah'. The word play is intentional. The prophet is saying that Amaziah has denied his own name, the personality and character which was potentially to be his. There is likewise a personal path mapped out for each of us, which we can deny by our lack of faith and apostacy.

2Ch 25:16 It happened, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, Have we made you one of the king’s counsellors? Stop! Why should you be struck down? Then the prophet stopped, and said, I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this, and have not listened to my counsel-
"Counsellors" is the same Hebrew word translated "determined". It occurs again in :17 ("consulted"). The word for "counsellor" is associated with rulership and kingship; a king's counsellors were effectively the kings (Is. 1:26; 9:6; Ezra 7:28; 8:25; Job 3:14), and often in the Bible, the counsel of men is contrasted with that of God. We feel this tension too; for the counsel of God is so often different and opposed to the counsel of the majority of those looked up to for secular advice and counsel. Amaziah wanted a prophet who counselled as he wished it to be (as did Ahab before him). He was not humble to God's word. We too need to somehow clear ourselves of all preconceptions and come to God's word with a second naiveté, willing to be counselled by it; rather than wanting to appoint our own counsel.     

2Ch 25:17 Then Amaziah king of Judah consulted his advisers, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us face off against each other-
The soldiers he had hired were apparently mercenaries. They had been paid, but not used in the battle. And so they had gotten offended and sacked cities of Judah (:13). And Amaziah was demanding compensation for this. By so doing he demonstrated that his apparent willingness to lose the money paid for them was not a decision taken from the heart. He was still after compensation for his losses, rather than believing that God could give him all riches (see on :9).

2Ch 25:18 Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon saying, Give your daughter to my son as his wife. Then a wild animal that was in Lebanon passed by, and trampled down the thistle-
This is similar to the parable of the trees in Jud. 9:7-15, which also talks of the land of Israel as "Lebanon" (Jud. 9:15). The king of Israel presents himself and Amaziah as both living in the same land, and considered himself to be the glorious cedar and Amaziah merely a thistle. It was quite inappropriate, he felt, for Amaziah to provoke him over the fact mercenaries from his country had ransacked towns in Judah over an argument about money and payment. He is saying that it as inappropriate as a poor man asking a wealthy man to give him his daughter to marry the poor man's son. And he threatens to act not just as an elegant cedar, but to morph into a wild beast who would trample down Amaziah. Perhaps Amaziah had indeed provoked Joash by making a marriage proposal which he knew Joash would turn down. 

2Ch 25:19 You say to yourself that you have struck Edom; and your heart lifts you up to boast. Now stay at home. Why should you meddle with trouble, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you?-
Literally, "You say", but he meant as interpreted by NEV, "to yourself". The importance of self talk is repeatedly emphasized in the Bible. For this is the basis of true spirituality. The victory against Edom was from God, but by accepting the vanquished gods of Edom, Amaziah shows that he trusted in his own strength rather than that of Yahweh. So often the victories God gives, be it passing an exam or military victory, lead to pride and boasting. 

2Ch 25:20 But Amaziah would not listen; for it was of God, that He might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they had sought after the gods of Edom-
See on :8. There are a number of other passages which mention how "it was of the Lord" that certain attitudes were adopted by men, resulting in the sequence of events which He desired (Dt. 2:39; Josh. 11:20; 1 Sam. 2:25; 1 Kings 12:15; 2 Chron. 10:15; 22:7; 25:20). It is tempting to read Jud. 14:4 in this context, meaning that God somehow made Samson desire that woman in order to bring about His purpose of freeing Israel from Philistine domination. The fact a man does something "of the Lord" doesn't mean that he is guiltless. In the same context of God's deliverance of Israel from the Philistines, men who did things "of the Lord" were punished for what they did (Dt. 2:30; 1 Sam. 2:25; 2 Chron. 22:7; 25:20). God through His Spirit works to confirm men in the path they wish to go. And this is the huge significance of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives today.

2Ch 25:21 So Joash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah confronted each other at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah-
This was on the border of Judah and Dan, the frontier of Judah. The pagan name, "house of the sun", had not been changed; and reflects Judah's abiding penchant for idolatry.

2Ch 25:22 Judah was defeated by Israel; and they fled every man to his tent-
This was not because Israel were more spiritual or faithful, but because God has a special interest in judging pride. Victories of secular people must be understood in this context. The giving of victory by God (in whatever context) is multi factorial and is not simply a reflection of His pleasure with the victor.

2Ch 25:23 Joash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz-
"Jehoahaz" is also called Ahaziah (2 Chron. 21:17).

At Beth Shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits-
This is s.w. Neh. 1:3; 4:7, and would have helped remind the exiles how the walls of Jerusalem had come to be so broken down. It would seem by the implication of Jer. 31:38; Zech. 14:10 that this gate was on the north of Jerusalem. Depending how we define a cubit, this would have been between 600 and 700 feet.  

2Ch 25:24 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in God’s house with Obed-Edom, and the treasures of the king’s house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria-
This faithful family who had cared for the ark had been entrusted with caring for the gold and silver in the temple. But Joash had given much of this to the Syrians previously.

2Ch 25:25 Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years-
The implication may be that he was given ample opportunity to repent; and we have noticed that in the lives of other kings.

2Ch 25:26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, aren’t they written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel?-
This may not necessarily be the same books of Kings which we have in our Bible.

2Ch 25:27 Now from the time that Amaziah turned away from following Yahweh, they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem-
Athaliah, Joash and Amaziah each died due to a conspiracy. Surely Amaziah was intended to learn from the deaths of his predecessors, but the great theme of Biblical history is that so few learn from it. And that is the challenge to us. The planning of the conspiracy apparently took at least 15 years (:25).

He fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there-
Perhaps he was trying to flee to Egypt, ever representative of human strength which fails. For Lachish was on the road there.

2Ch 25:28 They brought him on horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of David
Horses were forbidden to the kings of Israel (Dt. 17:16) so this is an appropriate end for an unfaithful man who trusted in human strength.